Perhaps the best aspect of nature metaphors is that Nature is big. There is a (literal) smorgasbord of animals, trees, bugs and butterflies, flowers and fish to choose from. No matter what your metaphorical needs, you can pick one with attractive spin. Even pejoratives like shark still get to carry along all of the Cool Deadly Predator connotations that come with them.
Lately, I've been sleeping a lot. I've been eating oatmeal for three days straight because I can't be bothered to go to the store. I've been watching repeats of Star Trek: Voyager and a whole bunch of other daytime television not nearly as illustrious as my hero Capt Janeway and her ragtag crew. I've spent hours watching sparrows and dunnocks flirting in the garden and flitting around like they can't contain their excitement over the coming of spring. I creep out of my bed at supermodel hours, and later creep back in into the same hollow in the bedclothes I made earlier. I've had many strange technicolor dreams. I've curled on the sofa and let my mind wander over the inside of my brain until I can't remember how to spell. I've ignored snippy emails collecting in my inbox. I've unplugged the phone. I've taken hot baths and inspected my toenails.
I've eaten a lot of chocolate. I'd have eaten more, but fortunately getting out of the house to where they sell it often didn't seem worth the trouble.
It's been wonderful.
Naturally, the thing to say is that I am a chrysalis. Mental exhaustion set in as soon as I landed the job, and now I am sleeping inside my gorgeous, jewel-like cocoon, decorating the twig of a tree until I emerge to display my brilliant new colours to the world. These quiet moments inside my cocoon are natural ... indeed, essential! Without them, no metamorphosis.
Wouldn't it be lovely? It's a wonderful thought. Not only am I about to turn into a butterfly, but I am decorative as well. And moreover, this strange sofa-bound period is an indispensible component of My Future Growth™. But I confess. I don't buy it for a second. I think actually, I'm more like a big, white grub. Sitting in the cabbage patch, mindlessly chomping through someone's prize brassica. Chomp chomp chomp. There is nothing in the mind of the grub except The One True Cabbage. And best of all, the more Cabbage the grub eats, the less there is in the mind of the grub, until eventually, a massive surfeit of Cabbage rids the grub's mind utterly of any thoughts at all.
I can't wait. I'm not too sure how conducive this is to dissertation writing. But on the other hand, it seems to me that PhD theses have more than a few things in common with boring, single-minded fat white grubs. Pass the cabbage.